In spring of 2014, Chris Habig, along with his brother Adam Habig and sister Meghan Johnston, began researching ways to improve the healthcare field. This passion stemmed from growing up in a home of physicians where their mother always told them the best way to deal with hospitals was to “not get sick.” Their dream was to create a system where the best and brightest in medicine would be available to not only help patients, but also see them as people rather than numbers.
They wanted to found a company where primary care and preventive care coincided. In two years time, their small business dream became a reality and Freedom Healthworks was born. Freedom Healthworks is a full-service and support company that helps independent physicians start and run their own direct primary care practices. Chris Habig partnered with his siblings and they began planning how to get their business off the ground. His sister had patented a consumer product in the past with the help of ISBDC and reached out to her contact, Doug Boehme, for assistance. After they consulted with Boehme, the Freedom Healthworks model began to take shape.
Early on, they attended ISBDC strategic planning sessions to align the vision for the company. Little did they know these strategy sessions would prove to be the framework for their business unit. “I still refer to my notes from those sessions,” stated Chris, “it’s good to compare where we are now and how far we have come. It’s amazing to see the trajectory accelerate in such a short period of time, in a relatively new segment of healthcare.”
The business skills learned from ISBDC created gateways for Chris, Adam and Meghan to dive deeper into the small business world. After they began receiving assistance from the ISBDC, the siblings reached out to those from Launch Indiana, a joint program between the ISBDC and Launch Fishers, to assist those in the innovative stages of starting a business.
Since their start date Freedom Healthworks has taken on momentum. Being in direct primary care, which allows physicians to see any and all patients, the company found a niche allowing doctors and patients to contract directly with one another. With the fast-paced environment and increase in growth, Chris, Adam and Meghan have discovered challenges along side of their victories. Their biggest struggle has been educating patients in what it means to truly emphasize preventive care. “It takes a mentality shift,” says Chris Habig. The movement is patient and physician focused, which proves to be a challenge for many people who have learned to be over reliant on health insurance. “We are trying to show people that health care and health insurance are not the same,” said Chris, “For the first time patients can get excellent care, increased accessibility and affordable prices for medical services.” With a patient focus and physician-minded mission, Freedom Healthworks has been thriving.
Today, Freedom Healthworks has six full-time employees and is projected to add a total of 64 jobs over the next five years, bringing employment to the Indy Region. Aside from an increase in job count, these positions are expected to pay an average wage of 40 percent higher than the state average. As a result, the company has been offered up to $700,000 in conditional tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Learn more about Freedom Healthworks on their website.
Because of organizations like the ISBDC and Launch Indiana, who focus on getting start-ups off the ground, companies like Freedom Healthworks are able to take off. All it takes is passion, faith in success and the right people to create an upcoming trajectory for a small business. The C-ISBDC is part of the entrepreneur services division within the Indy Chamber, please contact us to get your business started!